I am not sure why I am writing a blog that will soon evaporate and fade into distant memories . . .
Thursday, June 17, 2021
. . . but, I really want to talk to everyone while we are still here. This is about changes, losses shedding and recreating. It is also about new options, restructuring and becoming instead of just clinging onto things that I have outgrown and that no longer support the ME that I was put on this Earth and allowed to live long enough to unwrap and discover what I might be.
This is not the first community of online friends and family that has ceased to be available to me. Nearly 25 years ago I lost my favorite healthy living site (I still stay in touch with a small handful of the people on that site but through email, Facebook, etc.). I was a member of WW three times in three different states and lost more than 100 pounds several times but those connections have faded away. I have lost family and friends to death, distance, and simply moving on with our lives. I have now moved on from my career and lifelong dream job of teaching, but still am surviving. I have been active in several Church families, school (yes, I was a student at seven different colleges over the years and a professor at five of them before becoming a special ed teacher for the past 18 years), swimming and gym communities and stay in touch with some of the people from each of those communities. Now facing yet another big loss at a time when I am yet again in a period of transition and change and grief - the loss of our SP community. I know I am strong, resilient, and capable of recreating a community, but as I grow older, I wonder if I CAN make my recreation even one more time. I CAN but each time gets harder to first wrap myself in the cocoon of depression and reserected as a new self. I have said final goodbyes to 4 grandparents, 3 parents, my 3 sisters, two husbands, a nephew who committed suicide, and one of my sons who died of a serious health issue. I have lived in dozens of different locations (including 3 homes in Nigeria). I have traveled, studied, cried, laughed, grieved deeply, aspired to great heights and dwelt in poverty. I have married, divorced, and raised my 2 kids and 2 step children (including 3 of 4 on the Autism Spectrum)
All the "stuff" above created the weird and resilient person that I am today.
I have learned a great deal in my life and felt great pain but even greater joy. I have been privileged to have tasted the smorgasbord of life's experienced and know I still have more that I want to experience. I have been blessed and whether we ALL stay in touch or not, each and every person, pet person, and experience is now a part of ME. When I arrived at SP, I was a very different person than I am today and I faced many challenges and shared them through these last 13 years, but they are only one square of the crazy quilt of my life. I have long believed my life is a series of quilting squares sewn together with a single thread of FAMILY who has ridden the rollercoaster of my life with me.
We will ALL survive this sad change - after all if we are still here now, we have survived EVERY challenge that we have faced so far. We WILL adapt, adjust, recreate, and move forward because that IS what life IS.
A lot of things have happened in past month or so and while much was bittersweet, some has been truly awesome. I am just beginning to see a bright light at the end of my cocoon where I am beginning to break out as yet another new creature. One of the most awesome things was a financial "GIFT" that came out of the blue and dropped into my lap. The man that my son Ed and I have been buying our home from called the bank and asked if they would refinance our loan. Doesn't sound like such a big deal until . . . he mentioned that he would reduce the price of the remains loan by $50,000 and lower our mortgage payment to 1/3 of what we have been paying for the past 15 years. Not only will this offset the reduction in income as retirement pension is going to be much lower than my paycheck has been, but most importantly, will make the payment affordable for my son if/when something happens to me (1/4 of HIS monthly income instead of 75% of his income). I got the call about this 3 days before I officially retired - this is an enormous blessing and takes a load of worry about leaving Ed without any way to keep the property if/when I die. Combined with the lower car payments on our new cars and a reduction of our insurance premiums, will almost match the reduction in monthly income.
Be blessed and hang in there! Know that you are stronger than you can even imagine because of the love and strength of the One who will always stand with you and help you through regardless of how challenging the circumstances get!